While health officials have stressed taking precautions and getting tested for COVID-19, people need to take care of themselves in other ways, too.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

The month is designated to raise awareness of prostate cancer and to urge men to have a prostate exam. Blue is the color for prostate cancer month.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in U.S. men, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The foundation’s Step Up For Blue campaign empowers men to take control of their health — and encourages their loved ones to support them, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

When you Step Up for Blue, you support the 3 million U.S. men living with prostate cancer and the countless families fighting this disease worldwide, foundation representatives said.

The foundation wants men to know:

• Every three minutes a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer.

• Prostate cancer is 100% treatable if detected early.

• Black men are 2.4 times more likely to die of prostate cancer than white men.

“African-American men are impacted at a greater rate than any other group, therefore, the 100 (Black Men of America) will always include education and screening of prostate cancer as a priority in our health and wellness programs,” Thomas W. Dortch Jr., chairman emeritus, 100 Black Men of America, said in a past statement.

“The international headquarters delivers education and screenings at our annual conference and these services are amplified across the 100-chapter network in the United States and London.”

Prostate Cancer Foundation research has helped lower the U.S. prostate cancer death rate by more than 50%, according to the foundation.

And breakthroughs in prostate cancer research are saving lives for at least nine other cancers.

Age is the biggest risk factor for prostate cancer. But it is not the only one. Other factors include family history, genetics, race, lifestyle, dietary habits.

“Genes for disease can run in families,” according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “Men who have a relative with prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop the disease, while those with two or more relatives are nearly four times as likely to be diagnosed. The risk is even higher if the affected family members were diagnosed before age 65.”

Prostate screenings should begin between the ages of 40-50 for men depending on genetic markers, race and age, according to the foundation. Check with a health professional to see when you should start being screened for prostate cancer.

More information: Visit www.pcf.org.

We urge our male readers to get regular prostate cancer screenings.

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